FATMAP by Strava

Explore the Greenbelts of Austin, Texas

The trendy city of Austin is riddled with beautiful greenspaces and greenbelt trails. Discover the best routes with the recommendations in this guidebook!

Gravel Biking Easy

Lady Bird Lake Loop
Photo: Greg Heil


The trendy city of Austin, Texas, has long been renowned for its road cycling culture, largely thanks to the legendary (but now-disgraced) cyclist Lance Armstrong calling Austin home for many years. Thanks to this deeply-engrained cycling culture and forward-looking urban design, the city of Austin is now riddled with superb greenbelt trails that run through the city's natural corridors. In almost every greenspace in the city, you'll find a paved, traffic-free bike path, a network of singletrack trails, or in many cases—both.

These popular greenbelt trails form Austin's arteries of human-powered recreation and transportation. Bike commuters and walkers use the greenbelts to move from place to place in the city and suburbs while avoiding traffic. Road cyclists, gravel cyclists, and runners use the greenbelts for exercise and recreation. And many of the greenbelts provide access or connection to the best singletrack trails for mountain bikers. Thus, these greenbelts are much more than mere paved paths. They are a critical component contributing to Austin's renown as a hip, modern, and progressive city.

In this guidebook, you'll find an array of the best greenbelt routes in the city. By far the most famous is the Lady Bird Lake Loop, located right in downtown, offering stunning views of the skyline across the dammed-up reservoir in the Colorado River. Point-to-point trails, such as the Shoal Creek Greenbelt and Barton Creek Greenbelt, connect to Lady Bird Lake (aka the "Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail") to provide much longer ride opportunities. The Southern Walnut Creek and Northern Walnut Creek Greenbelt Trails provide more extensive routes heading out from the urban center and deeper into the suburbs.

While this guidebook depicts these greenbelts as gravel cycling routes due to the mixed surfaces that you might encounter, these greenbelts are equally popular on full-blooded road bikes, townies, and even mountain bikes. The trails are also filled with runners, hikers, dog walkers, longboarders, one-wheelers, and more—all manner of human-powered vehicles. You'll need to remain vigilant to negotiate the trail traffic, but don't let that dissuade you from exploring some of Austin's most beautiful greenspaces!

Routes included